President of the United States, Joe Biden has urged Americans in Ukraine to leave the country immediately.
Speaking in an interview with NBC News, Biden warned “Things could crazy quickly”, an apparent reference to Russia’s continued build-up at the Ukrainian border.
The warning to Americans to vacate Ukraine at once is coming even as Britain despatched its Defence Secretary to Moscow in a last minute effort to avert a Russian invasion, and also encourage both sides to give diplomacy a chance.
“We’re dealing with one of the largest armies in the world”, Biden said as he urged Americans to leave Ukrainian territory, “This is a very different situation and things could go crazy quickly.”
Thursday night, Russia and Ukraine failed to reach any meaningful breakthrough in Berlin, Germany, in a day of related talks with French and German officials.
The flurry of diplomatic activity was aimed at ending a separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine that has lasted for eight years..
Also on Thursday, Ukraine’s foreign ministry accused Moscow of showing a “blatant disregard for the rules and principles of international law” as relations between the two countries sagged.
It said Moscow was planning missile tests in the Black Sea.
Kyiv thinks such military action would make the navigation of ships impossible in the Black Sea and in the Sea of Azov.
UK defence secretary Ben Wallace is expected Friday, to join foreign secretary Liz Truss in Moscow.
Truss is believed to have had frosty talks with her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.
Lavrov is quoted as saying the meeting was like a conversation of “the mute with the deaf”.
Wallace will reportedly communicate Britain’s concern over the development in Ukraine.
He is equally expected to tell Sergei Shoigu, the Russian defence minister, that invading Ukraine would create a “lose-lose” situation.
Meanwhile, Russia has commenced 10 days of drills with Belarusian forces as the war games being played get to an advanced stage.
Military analysts, according to The Guardian, estimate Moscow has massed more than 135,000 troops on the borders of Ukraine, both in Russia and in Belarus – and some now believe nearly all the necessary elements are in place should Putin decide to attack.
Both the United States and the United Kingdom have ruled out the possibility of their troops fighting on the side of Ukraine.
Biden stressed that under no circumstance would he send US troops to Ukraine, even to rescue Americans in case of a Russian invasion.
“That’s a world war. When Americans and Russians start shooting one another, we’re in a very different world,” Biden observed.
“What I’m hoping is that if [Russian president Vladimir Putin] is foolish enough to go in, he’s smart enough not to in fact do anything that would negatively impact American citizens.”
Boris Johnson, Britain will not join the war if…
Speaking while on a visit to NATO Headquarters, Boris Johnson said the UK will not commit troops should war break out.
The UK prime minister said “our intelligence remains grim.”
“This is probably the most dangerous moment” Johnson remarked, “I would say that in the course of the next few days, in what is the biggest security crisis that Europe has faced for decades, we’ve got to get it right.”
He made it clear that Britain could not intervene militarily if Ukraine was attacked.
Speaking afterwards at a military base in Warsaw, Johnson noted, “The UK has been supplying some defensive weaponry in the form of anti-tank missiles, we have been training Ukrainian troops. That is as far as we can go at the moment.”
Ukraine may have hoped the West would come behind her, but against Russia, the Ukrainians would have learnt the bitter lesson that they are on their own if fighting starts.
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